Nana Glen Mum

Thomas the Tank Engine Cake – Part 2 – How I Iced It. November 20, 2009

Okay, here we go, the long promised part 2 of the Thomas the Tank Engine Cake Tutorial.  Sorry it took so long, but I hadn’t made another since until 2 weeks ago.  So, without further ado, here it is:

You can check out the previous post for how I carved the cake here.

First up, cover the entire cake with buttercream so that the fondant will stick.  It doesn’t matter if it is a crusting buttercream or not, infact just butter and icing sugar beat together will work just fine.  If you don’t want to go to the trouble, just brush the entire cake thoroughly with melted jam.  It’s basically up to you.  Personally, I find it easier to get a smooth finish on the fondant with buttercream underneath, but at the end of the day, it is just personal preference.

It doesn't have to be neat.

First up are the wheels.  Colour some fondant blue (remember it will darken somewhat overnight), roll it out to about half a centimetre thick and roll out at least 6 circles.  I say at least 6 because you are going to need 6, but I like to do a couple extra just in case I break one, or the kids eat one (also, this way you can pick the best ones).

Next, using small cutters or a knife, cut some bits out to make it look like wheels.  The shape doesn’t matter so much, nor how many you put, it’s just to give the impression.  You could even leave them solid if you like.

You really want to do this part a few days (at least overnight) before hand so they can dry and harden.  Once they are cut out, put them aside on a flat surface to dry.

Next up, cut the scrappy bits off the blue and roll it a bit thinner – I like about 3mm.  Put the cake right next to it so you don’t have to carry the fondant too far.

Now carefully slide both hands and arms under the fondant, lift it up gently and drape it over the cake.  It doesn’t have to come right to the front because that is going to be a different colour anyway.

Now carefully using your hands (take off all rings and bracelets first), press the fondant down over the cake, easing it into the crevices and over the bumpy bits.

You’ll have to manipulate it a bit around the corners.

Now y0u need to trim the front edge.  Using a sharp, smooth blade knife (NOT SERRATED!!!), cut across the front pretty much in line with the edge of the round bit, but just a bit back from it (about half a cm).

Now you need to peel off the extra bit at the front that you don’t want.  I don’t usually keep this bit as it has buttercream on it and can’t be rerolled.

And from the side:

Next you need to colour and roll your red fondant, and cut one edge straight with a ruler.

Place this across the front, slightly overlapping the blue and smooth down.

Now with your sharp, smooth bladed knife, trim across the front to the edge of the blue and peel away the excess.

Now trim across the bottom to give an even bottom edge, and cut a wide strip long enough to wrap around the other 3 sides of the cake.

Now wrap it around the base of the cake and trim the ends and bottom edge.

Now cut 3 thin strips and place them across the rounded bit at the front (sorry about the lack of technical train terminology!!)

Next cut out 2 number 1s.  I used a proper cutter for this, but you could easily do it with a knife.  Then wrap another thin red strip around each.

Now stick them one on each side.

All you need to do now is put a face on.  I made a mould from a toy and cut out eyes and a mouth.

Hope this helps.


13 Responses to “Thomas the Tank Engine Cake – Part 2 – How I Iced It.”

  1. […] So now you know how to cut up the cake and put it back together again, you’ll be ready to ice it.  Here is how I covered the cake in Part 2 of the tutorial. […]

  2. Svea Says:

    Hi there, in one of your other posts you asked how to get rid of the lumps and bumps? I find that if I use reasonably thick fondant, easily 5mm thick, and place it over the buttercream and then use a cake smoothing tool I get a lovely flat surface. The other thing is to be not too stingy with the buttercream underneath as it allows you too flatten out all the bumps when you run the cakesmoother over it. This does require the buttercream to be defrosted though. I usually do a thin layer to seal the crumbs in, then freeze it, then another layer before putting on the fondant. Cheers – Svea

  3. rama Says:

    You are an artist! WOW!

  4. Monica Says:

    I am wanting to make a Thomas cake for my son’s first birthday and I have only one question about fondant, the recipe from GingerbreadHouse site that you linked, roughly how much surface does that cover? Other than that I think it seems rather simple to put together and alot of fun. Certainly seems like you had fun doing yours!!!

    • nanaglenmum Says:

      It makes roughly enough to cover one cake like this one. Any left over can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, then placed in a zip lock bag and frozen. Good luck and thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.

  5. Steph Says:

    Hi you have made this look easier to assemble and I am now no longer dreading it! I was wondering instead of using fondant would normal butter cream icing work?

  6. kelly Says:

    what did u user to make his funnel?

  7. Cloe Says:

    I have been freaking out about making my sons thomas cake for his 2nd birthday. I have looked everywhere for an easy step process and you have done just that, I am excited to make it now but slightly worried about using the fondant icing as i have never used it before… What size pan did you use?
    Great work…Love your blogs.

    • nanaglenmum Says:

      Thanks Chloe. My best advice is relax and enjoy the process. Your son will love what ever you make because his Mum made it just for him! Don’t stress about fondant, it is just like playing with playdough. As for the pan size, it doesn’t matter. It depends on how many people you need to feed.

  8. Lisa Rae, NZ Says:

    Cool cake now all I have to do is decide whether to use fondant or butter icing(frosting). Oh and do a practice one for a taste test of course. Thanks Heaps.

    • nanaglenmum Says:

      Thanks Lisa. I prefer fondant for this type of cake because I can never get buttercream smooth enough! lol! I’d love to see a photo of your cake when it is done!

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